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People are living longer. Medical advancements, a cultural focus on health, and progress in technology have allowed people to extend their lives. Seniors are becoming one the fastest-growing groups all over the world.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) predicts that seniors will become 17 percent of the world population by 2050. This population explosion will affect the whole globe in a myriad of ways.
In the U.S., the NIA estimates that our aging population will double in the next three decades, meaning 88 million seniors will be living here. Throughout the globe, the so-called “oldest old” population—seniors living to be 80 or older—will triple in the coming decades.
What does this mean for you and your aging loved ones? It’s time to prepare.
Unless lawmakers and the population of the U.S. prepare for this senior boom, the country will face limited or nonexistent resources for their aging population. Programs like social security and Medicare will be stretched to the brink, while hospitals and doctors’ offices will be filled with seniors who need specialized gerontology care.
Some industries are already preparing for the senior boom. Caregiving companies are increasing staff and focusing on helping seniors age at home successfully. Tech companies are developing senior-friendly devices that will help the aging and their caregivers monitor health, medication distribution, and even movement throughout the house.
The senior surge also affords you an excellent opportunity to discuss aging with your soon-to-be-senior loved ones. Make sure your loved ones have a sound financial plan for their later years, and consult with a financial advisor if you’re concerned about retirement funds. Nail down your loved one’s wishes ahead of time: Do they want to age at home? What would they want done in case of a health crisis? These topics are often uncomfortable but utterly essential to a happy, worry-free aging process.
Whether you’re a soon-to-be-senior or a caregiver to a senior, it’s time to prepare for the senior surge.